Tests and imaging
Before surgery you’ll need to have some tests and imaging including blood and urine tests, one or two electrocardiograms (ECG) and an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of your heart, similar to an ECG).
The echocardiogram is usually done over your chest but your surgeon may request a transoesophageal echocardiogram to obtain better pictures. Depending on your age and risk factors, your surgeon may also order a coronary angiogram to rule out blockages in the arteries of your heart.
If any issues are raised by your tests and imaging, your surgeon may have to postpone or cancel your surgery.
If you’re taking any prescription medications, make sure your doctor is aware of them. Your surgeon may ask you to stop taking certain medications (especially blood-thinners) before your surgery. If you smoke or drink alcohol, ask your surgeon whether you should abstain from these before your surgery.
Don’t forget to mention any complementary or herbal remedies you’re taking.